US STOCKS-Wall St on track to open lower after recent surge

Reuters

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    * Starbucks, Yum Brands fall after Goldman downgrade
    * U.S. consumer prices post first drop in nine months
    * Netflix surges ahead of results next week
    * Futures down: Dow 0.30 pct, S&P 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct 

 (Adds comment, details, updates prices)
    By Sruthi Shankar
    Jan 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on
Friday after rallying for the past five sessions on hopes of a
resolution in the U.S.-China trade dispute and assurances from
the Federal Reserve that it would be patient on interest rate
hikes.
    A steady start to 2019 has lifted the S&P 500  .SPX  by 
over 10 percent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmas
on hopes of a trade deal, strong data on U.S. jobs growth and 
dovish views from the Fed.
    Futures pointed to a slight opening loss for the main
indexes, putting at risk the S&P 500's five-day winning streak,
its longest since September. The Nasdaq Composite index  .IXIC 
closed at a level on Thursday that was only a couple of points
below its 50-day moving average, a closely watched level of
support.
    U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator may visit
Washington this month, signaling that higher-level discussions
are likely to follow this week's talks with mid-level officials
in Beijing.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZA03L
    "We've run up and people seem to be in a wait-and-watch mode
 before they put more money back in," said Mark Grant, chief
global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc.
    With big U.S. banks kicking off fourth-quarter earnings next
week, investors will comb through earnings reports and
projections for signs of a slowdown in economic growth, concerns
about which drove a selloff in stocks in the final quarter of
2018.
    S&P 500 companies on average are seen posting 14.5 percent
growth in earnings per share as they report December-quarter
results, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. However,
expectations for growth in 2019 are at 6.4 percent, down from an
expectation of 7.3 percent on Jan. 1.
    At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis  1YMc1  were down 71 points, or
0.3 percent. S&P 500 e-minis  ESc1  were down 9.25 points, or
0.36 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis  NQc1  were down 30 points,
or 0.45 percent.
    Stocks got a small boost on Thursday after Fed chair Jerome
Powell reiterated that the U.S. central bank can be patient in
approving any further rate increases as officials gauge whether
the U.S. economy will slow this year, as some in financial
markets worry.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZA1MY
    Data showed U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in
nine months in December amid a plunge in gasoline prices, but
underlying inflation pressures remained firm as rental housing
and healthcare costs rose steadily.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nUSNBCEFP7
    Among stocks, Starbucks Corp  SBUX.O  fell 2.8 percent after
Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "neutral", citing concerns
about China. Goldman also cut its rating on Yum Brands Inc
 YUM.N  to "sell", pointing to peak valuation, and its shares
slipped 2.5 percent.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3BR
    Activision Blizzard Inc  ATVI.O  declined 9.1 percent after
the video game publisher transferred full publishing rights for
its "Destiny" game franchise to video game developer Bungie.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3H2
    Netflix Inc's  NFLX.O  shares, which have leapt more than 20
percent this year, were up 1.9 percent, with Credit Suisse
raising quarterly subscriber additions estimates ahead of its
earnings next week.

 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta)
 ((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6328; Reuters Messaging:
sruthi.shankar.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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